Reform Scotland News: 25 September 2014


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted and underlined.  In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.


New First Minister: Nicola Sturgeon has launched her bid to replace Alex Salmond as SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland. She did not rule out another referendum in the future, but stressed that greater devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament from Westminster was the upmost priority. (Scotsman page 1, Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Magnus Gardham in the Herald, Express page 1, Kerry Gill in the Express, Nicola Sturgeon in the Express, Record page 6, Sun page 4, FT page 4, Telegraph page 13, Times page 5, Courier page1, P & J page 12 )

Ed Miliband’ speech: At the Labour Party conference yesterday Ed Miliband was criticised for forgetting to deliver an explanation on Labour’s approach to tackling the deficit and immigration. (Herald page 6, Express page 2, Times page 12, Tim Montgomerie and Jenni Russell in the Times, Telegraph page 4, FT page 2, Courier page 18, P & J page 16, guardian page 16, John Crace in the Guardian.

Deputy Leader of the SNP: Keith Brown has reportedly emerged as a front runner to become the deputy leader of the SNP. Despite other contenders, Stewart Hosie and Alyn Smith, it is understood that Mr Brown already has the support of up to half of the SNP’s MSPs. (Herald page 7 )

Referendum: The police have been called to investigate claims that the Better Together agents breached electoral law during the referendum by viewing postal votes to discover how well their campaign was going. Agents representing both campaigns are allowed to oversee the postal vote opening sessions however must not communicate how any vote has been cast. (Herald page 1)

Iain Macwhirter, in the Herald, Bill Leckie in the Sun and Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on the future of the Union.

Scottish Labour Party: It has been reported that Jim Murphy, former Scottish Secretary could become the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party. (Herald page 6)

Language: Kevin Stewart, convenor of one of Holyrood’s parliamentary committee, yesterday interrupted the normal proceedings of the Local Government Committee suggesting that ‘gobbledegook’ was being spoken. He suggested that the language being used by experts and politicians was often so impenetrable and the public would have every right to question what is being spoken about. (Telegraphy page 1)


North Sea oil: New research from a team at Heriot-Watt University has made a breakthrough in developing methods to maximise extraction from existing oil fields which could add decades to the lifespan of oil reserves in the North Sea. (Herald page 7, Courier page 2)

Mansion Tax: Some 250,000 home owners were warned last night that they will have to get their properties valued if a Labour Government in elected in 2015 due to its plans for mansion tax. (Telegraph page 1, Clive Aslet in the telegraph, Times page 13)


Defamation Law:  Lawyers in Scotland have called for the implementation of defamation laws, similar to those introduced in England and Wales, to protect platforms such as social media sites that provide freedom of speech. (Herald page 4) 


Teaching reforms: The education secretary claims that future reforms in schools will be more gradual to ensure that there is sufficient support for both pupils and teachers; this follows the criticisms from teachers regarding the unacceptable workload after the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence. (Herald page 8 )